Choosing the right payment method is crucial for boosting sales and enhancing your brand’s popularity. It’s important to remember that not all payment methods are popular in every country. For various financial or security reasons, consumers may prefer different payment options such as e-wallets or bank transfers. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the market and the needs of customers based on their country of purchase.

Why Is Offering Various Payment Methods Crucial for Your E-Commerce?

It’s not just about satisfying your customers' needs; it’s also about ensuring the checkout process is secure, simple, and fast. Research shows that 9% of customers abandon their shopping carts if there aren't enough payment options, and 17% leave if the checkout process is too lengthy or complicated. Additionally, 18% of customers abandon their purchase if the website doesn’t instill confidence. Nearly half of your potential customers consider the payment method a significant factor, and so should you.

By offering a variety of payment methods, you provide:

  • Convenience for your customers, which is vital for building trust in your brand today.
  • Reliability in case of issues. If one payment method fails due to external factors, having alternative options (B, C, or even D) allows your customer to complete their purchase, positioning you as a professional e-commerce business.

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What Payments Methods Are Available?

In the past, payment methods included cash, debit cards, credit cards, and cheques. However, as technology advances, so do digital payment methods. It is estimated that by 2025, 53% of all e-commerce spending will be conducted through digital and mobile wallets.

According to Oberlo's statistics, the preferred payment options for most customers include:

  1. Digital/Mobile Wallet
  2. Credit Card/Charge Card
  3. Debit Card
  4. Bank Transfer
  5. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
  6. Cash on Delivery
  7. Direct Debit
  8. Prepay
  9. Other
  10. Prepaid Card
  11. PostPay

What to Consider When Choosing the Right Payment Method for Your E-Commerce Business 

Conducting a market study of the country where purchases will be made is essential. Here are some points to consider:

Data protection: The privacy of information and data shared online is increasingly important. Choose a payment provider that is regulated and does not store your customers' data.

Flexibility in processing refunds: Refund requests are inevitable, so it’s crucial that the money can be refunded promptly. Check this policy before selecting any payment method.

Guest checkout: Not all visitors to your website will want to register. Offering a guest checkout option makes the process shorter and avoids the need for commitment.

Pricing: While customer satisfaction is crucial, so is your budget. Carefully analyse the transaction fees and any additional costs, as these can significantly impact your total revenue.

Most Popular Payment Methods in Europe

Each market in Europe has unique needs, so here’s a summary of the most popular payment methods in various countries:


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In 2021, PayPal (including digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Klarna) became the most popular payment method in Germany. PayPal's popularity has increased due to services offered by the virtual wallet, including the BNPL or ‘Payment in 30 days’ option, which provides a simple, secure, and flexible alternative for online shopping.

Another popular method in Germany is the Girocard. Approximately 95% of people aged 16 to 69 use it, compared to 43 million who own Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards.

Germany is known for its traditional payment trends, reflected in the saying “Geld stinkt nicht” (money doesn’t stink). Consequently, 34% of online payments are made via bank transfer using SEPA direct debit, which is rare in the UK's online retail market.


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While PayPal is popular in Germany, only 6% of customers in Spain use it. In 2022, 81% of Spanish consumers made online purchases with a debit card (Mastercard and Visa), while 53% used credit cards.

Additionally, 59% use digital wallets. By 2023, these numbers were expected to rise, with more people using digital wallets like Apple Pay and local options such as BBVA Wallet and CaixaBank Wallet.


italy - payment

Similar to Spain, online shoppers in Italy prefer Visa or MasterCard credit, debit, or prepaid cards. Surveys indicate that consumers aged 15 to 24 are most likely to use digital payments, whereas only 2% of consumers aged 55 to 64 show a similar trend.

Italy also has a local payment system, Bancomat Pay, used by over 37 million Italians for online payments. Gradually, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are also gaining popularity.

United Kingdom

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Visa and Mastercard dominate in the UK, where 90% of consumers have between two to three cards and use them for payments.

According to UK Finance, in 2021, only one in eight people used Buy Now Pay Later, while nine out of ten UK consumers used direct deposit. Another study revealed that 32% prefer paying with e-wallets. As technology advances, the use of these apps is expected to grow, along with BNPL options.


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In France, 52% of transactions are made using cards, with 70% of these issued by local banks. For instance, more than 65% of French people have a card from Groupement des Cartes Bancaires, compared to only 13% who have Visa and 10% who have Mastercard.

Cards are not the only method used for online purchases; 25% use e-wallets and 11% use bank transfers


After studying the market where you plan to sell, it’s essential to start analysing and tracking the performance of the payment methods you offer. Test and experiment with each one to determine which is most profitable, secure, and suitable for your e-commerce business.

For example, if you notice the Spanish market beginning to favour PayPal, don’t hesitate to add it to your website.